People, Characters, Realities (I)

Event: Conference (in English)

Location: NEC conference hall

18 October 2017, 17.00 – 19.00

Martin CRIMP in dialogue with Theodor-Cristian POPESCU



“Oblique and elusive, his plays occupy a universe not fully like our own – a place sometimes alienating, often bleakly funny, occasionally downright horrible. It’s hard to say how they achieve this effect, except that they embody something first realised by the Greek tragedians: that what we fear is what we can’t exactly see. Asked once to explain what lay behind the cruelty in his works, Crimp replied crisply that dialogue is inherently cruel.”

The Guardian, Andrew Dickson, March 24, 2017

Biographical Note

Martin CRIMP was born in 1956 and began writing for theatre in the 1980s. His plays include In the Republic of Happiness (2012), Play House (2012), The City (2008), Fewer Emergencies (2005), Cruel and Tender (2004, written for director Luc Bondy), Face to the Wall (2002), The Country (2000), Attempts on her Life (1997), The Treatment (1993), Getting Attention (1992), No One Sees the Video (1991), Play with Repeats (1989), Dealing with Clair (1988) and Definitely the Bahamas (1987).

His translations of plays include Botho Strauss’s Gross und Klein (2012), Ionesco’s Rhinoceros (2007), Marivaux’s The False Servant (2004) and The Triumph of Love (1999), Genet’s The Maids (1999), Ionesco’s The Chairs (1997), Koltès’s Roberto Zucco (1997), a new version of Chekhov’s The Seagull (2006) for the National Theatre and an adaptation of Molière’s The Misanthrope (1996).

Crimp’s The Treatment was winner of the 1993 John Whiting Award, and in 2005 he received Italy’s Premio Ubu for the Fewer Emergencies trilogy.

His work in the UK has been produced by the RSC, NT, Almeida, Young Vic, Barbican, Théâtre de Complicité and London’s Royal Court Theatre, with which he has maintained a close relationship throughout his career. His work has been translated into many languages and produced at venues outside the UK including Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, the Sala Beckett in Barcelona, at the Vienna Festival, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Théâtre de la Ville, by the Berliner Ensemble, at Berlin’s Schaubühne, and at the Festival d’Automne in Paris, which presented four of his works in their 2006 season, including his first text for opera, Into the Little Hill, written for George Benjamin. His second collaboration with George Benjamin, Written on Skin, had its world premiere at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July 2012.

In New York his work has been seen at the Public Theater, at Classic Stage, and on Broadway (his translation of The Chairs, directed by Simon McBurney).

In 2007 Attempts on her Life was revived on the Lyttleton stage of the National Theatre, directed by Katie Mitchell; and in 2013 his latest play, The rest will be familiar to you from cinema, opened at the Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, where it was voted by Germany’s Theater heute best foreign play of the year.

This event was convened by Theodor-Cristian POPESCU, within the Research Group Culture in Murky Times.

This event was supported by a grant of the Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P3-3.6-H2020-2016-0018, within PNCDI III, and organised in partnership with the British Council.